Three noted members of the education field will deliver Commencement remarks to Albion College’s Class of 2017 on Saturday, May 6: Jess Womack, '65, retired general counsel and inspector general of the Los Angeles Unified School District and recent board member of L.A.'s Green Dot Schools; Linda Yonke, '75, superintendent of suburban Chicago's New Trier Township High School District; and Michael Milkie, CEO and superintendent of Chicago's Noble Network of Charter Schools.
Albion College's Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented annually to alumni who have demonstrated excellence in career achievements and contributions to community and humanity.
The College's Young Alumni Awards are presented each year to alumni who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in their first 10 years following graduation.
An annual awards ceremony—this year to be held on Friday, April 21—allows the College to recognize and showcase the noteworthy success of its alumni. Please join us as we recognize and extend congratulations to the 2017 honorees!
Distinguished Alumni Awards
Dave Egnatuk, ’71
Retired Head Coach, Albion College Track and Field, Albion, MI
Dave Egnatuk first earned the adjective "distinguished" as a student at Albion, when in 1970 he rushed for 1,079 yards, a school record that stood until 1989. After serving in the U.S. Army and earning a master's degree at the University of Southern California, Egnatuk embarked on the career that has made him Albion's longest-serving coach (1975-2010). Along with serving for 24 years as an assistant football coach, Egnatuk was head coach for track and field for 36 years, amassing eight MIAA championship programs and guiding five student-athletes to NCAA Division III titles. In all, he coached 17 Britons to 31 All-American finishes. Off the field, Egnatuk was a member of the physical education faculty, director of the Albion College Summer Adventure Program, and longtime coordinator of Special Olympics Track and Field Training Day. A member of Alpha Tau Omega while a student, Egnatuk advised Albion's ATOs for more than 25 years, and was named the fraternity's National Advisor of the Year in 1995.
Edmund Jenkins, ’57
Past Chair, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Tucson, AZ
From 1992-97 Ed Jenkins served as chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, where, among other things, he was a charter member of the Emerging Issues Task Force. Before heading FASB, Jenkins chaired the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' Special Committee on Financial Reporting, commonly referred to as the "Jenkins Committee." Professionally, Jenkins enjoyed a 38-year career with Arthur Andersen, retiring as managing partner of the Professional Standards Group of Arthur Andersen’s worldwide practice. Jenkins is a member of the international Accounting Hall of Fame (housed at The Ohio State University) and holds honorary doctorates from DePaul University, Lycoming College and Albion College. He served as an Albion College trustee for 22 years, and received the College's Meritorious Service Award in 2007.
Young Alumni Awards
Lisa Anderson, ’09
Synthetic biochemistry researcher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Lisa Anderson's Albion and post-Albion careers demonstrate her short- and long-range, professional and personal, deep and deeper commitment to the environment. A synthetic biochemist at one of the world's premier research instittuions, Anderson's work with lipid production in algae holds great promise for the creation of new biofuels, some of which may be made while simultaneously cleaning wastewater. Anderson led a number of environmentally focused councils and initiatives while at Albion and the University of California-Davis, where she won a 2014 Greenovation Champion Award from Kimberly-Clark for implementing a laboratory glove recycling program, reducing waste by about two tons annually. At MIT, Anderson continues to serve in leadership positions on committees supporting environmental initiatives. In 2016, she received the New England BioLabs Passion in Science Award for Environmental Stewardship.
Caitlin Burgess, ’10
Trial Counsel, Hamilton County (OH) Public Defender's Office
Despite being a lawyer for only four years, Caitlin Burgess is recognized as both an advocate and activist on behalf of children in Ohio's legal system. As a law student, Burgess supported needy children in child support and custody negotiations. After passing the bar, she worked as a volunteer helping a juvenile offender gain his legal right to education, and offered volunteer legal research to juvenile court attorneys. Now, along with her caseload as an attorney with the Hamilton County Public Defender's office, Burgess was a part of a legal charge in Hamilton County that caused the Ohio Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of placing juvenile offenders in shackles during court appearances which resulted in a requirement that local courts adopt rules to regulate the shackling of youth. She is also one of her office's specialists in human trafficking cases involving children, working both on individual criminal cases and as an advocate for legal reform in the local juvenile court related to the treatment of human trafficking victims.
Jaime Fornetti, ’06
Postdoctoral fellow, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT
Since leaving Albion, Jaime Fornetti has gone from Colorado to Oklahoma and now Utah, hot on the trail of new treatments for breast cancer. Three years into her current work, Fornetti is studying a protein that promotes breast cancer metastasis in the bone. Using new drugs to interrupt the signals coming from the protein (RON kinase), Fornetti believes, could greatly reduce its devastating effects. A four-year basketball player at Albion, Fornetti graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was profiled in the NCAA's "After the Game" feature series. She holds a doctorate in cell and developmental biology from the University of Colorado.
Kasey Kaplan, ’10
Co-founder, President and Chief Operating Officer Urban FT, San Diego, CA
Seeing a market opportunity in the digital banking space, Kasey Kaplan co-founded Urban FT, a mobile platform used to conduct digital transactions and other business banking activity. Urban FT's client list includes Sprint Mobile, Boost Mobile and the Bank of California, and the company now has 40 employees and three offices. Not surprisingly, Kaplan and Urban FT have won a No. 1 B2B Digital Banking Solution by PYMNTS.com, and received the 2015 Best in Show honor at the Innovation Project, an exclusive event for executives of industry-leading companies. Kaplan has also twice presented at Finovate, the leading showcase of innovations in banking, investing, insurance, lending, payments and other financial services technology. Kaplan teaches workshops and advises clients nationwide, and regularly lends his expertise to Albion College's communication studies courses.
Each year, Albion students have the opportunity to study all over the world. Last fall, Nick Smith, '18, a finance and public policy major from Midland, Mich., and a member of the Britons swimming and diving team, completed a semester abroad through Semester at Sea, a program that allows students to travel and study while aboard a ship sailing the seas. In total, Smith, who is also in the Gerstacker and Ford institutes as well as the Honors Program, spent 104 days traveling to places including Greece, Italy, Morocco and Brazil.
Albion College biology professor Dale Kennedy's love of birds led her to a career of studying the feathered creatures. Her passion resulted in her recently received William and Nancy Klamm Service Award from the Wilson Ornithological Society, one of the oldest ornithological societies in America.
Mary Jean Eisenhower shares her remarkable career in international peace work as Albion College's 2017 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote speaker on Thursday, April 20. The College's 28th annual two-day Elkin R. Isaac Student Research Symposium opens Wednesday, April 19, with the Isaac Alumni Lecture, to be given by shark researcher Nick Whitney, '00.
Emmy Award-winning documentarian Andrew Cohn (left) will screen his latest work, Night School, on Wednesday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in the Bohm Theatre. Preceding that is a Monday, March 20, 5 p.m. open house at the Ludington Center, discussions with Albion College classes and much more as part of multiday stay.